Jason Hu ParadigmLast changed 9/20 12:21A EDT
I believe that debate should be an educational activity. Using speed and jargon to exclude your opponent (and frankly your judge) is contrary to this purpose.
How (and not just what) you argue is important. Make eye contact! Don't play with your pen! Don't sigh when your opponent is arguing! Don't make distracting hand gestures when you speak! Yes content is important, but even the best, most technical judges are (at the very least) subconciously influenced by your style. I've done debate long enough to know that most debaters are too concerned with the flow to believe this, but at the end of the day this is important.
Read your judge. If I look bored, I am. If I look confused, I am. If I am not writing anything down you have either begun to beat a dead horse or are speaking to fast. Adjust accordingly. Your judge is way more important than your opponent.
Evidence is important, but it is not the end all be all.
I am open to any argument so long as it is well argued, warranted, and supported.
PF Specific Paradigm:
I did Public Forum throughout my four years of high school.
Speed: Absolutely no spreading! Speed is OKAY as long as you are signposting clearly and not sacrificing ennuncaition and fluency. If in doubt, go slower. Do not go fast for the purpose of excluding your opponent from the debate.
Framework: This is important to me. Not only have framework but also support it. Why am I looking to your framework? I use the framework to see which impacts actually matter in the round. A team can win all but one argument and lose if that's what the framework says!
Evidence: Organize your evidence. If you take over 30 seconds to look for evidence, you are taking to long. Do not just extend card names. Remind me what the card says and why it matters in the round. You should use statistics to support a claim (and explain why the statistic does just that)--don't just through precentages at me! And finally, don't over rely on your evidence. Analysis matters
LD Specific Paradigm:
I did Public Forum throughout my four years of high school. My only exposure to varsity LD has been the few national tournaments that I've judged at this year. In terms of speaking, I prefer a conversational speed (think a public forum round) or maybe a little faster. I should be able to understand you and write down your arguments with relative ease. Consider me a qualified traditional judge. I am willing to listen to nonconventional arguments (Ks, Theory, etc.) as long as they're clearly explained.
Do not just extend card names. Remind me what the card says and why it matters in the round. Remember that a statistic alone is not an argument. Statistics should be use to further a claim that you are making. Explain to me why your statistics further your claim. Finally, a card is not true just because it is a card. Be able to logically defend your card.
I value logical explanations and weighing more than technical jargon and techniques. If your strategy involves using techniques that purposefully exclude your opponent, I am not your judge. You will not get high speaks. I find debate to be a relatively elitist activity, and I think that the main goal of this activity should really focus on being inclusive and educational. Engage your opponent on whatever level of debate is comfortable for both of you.
Most of all, have fun! Debate is an activity meant for education and enjoyment.